Recent discussions spurred by Matt Shadetek and /Rupture quoting him feel like the culmination of a couple years of critical discourse, clumsy practice, and increasing interconnection between the two. I’m enheartened to see this kind of debate taking place and the number of insightful perspectives offered up, and I think it can only be good for “the scene” — if we can — for there to be a greater degree of reflection around all the production and circulation in which we’re engaged.
But the last thing I want to emerge from this critical conversation about “global ghettotech / gobbledigook” is for people like Stu to disengage or stop what they’re doing. I totally understand the conflict Stu describes between one’s time and the ability to blog richly contextual pieces about the wonderful (musical) things we can access these days. It’s a balancing act, no doubt. Which is why my own blog wanes&waxes between linkthink and essay-like catharsis.
This whole dilemma reminds me too much of the crippling process of becoming a graduate student — probably in most disciplines but especially disciplines that practice an explicit degree of self-reflection (e.g., anthro and its kin). I used to get so caught up on words and language and representations (in my academic writing) that I could hardly write at all without employing enough qualifications to paralyze the prose. It sucked, frankly, all around. And I’m deeply grateful to blogging for helping me break out of that particular kind of self-consciousness (b/c surely blogging has plenty of its own) and to feel less timid about just putting something out there.
It’s better, I think, to engage, if clumsily, than not to.
Better still to be thoughtful, careful, and graceful about it. But we can’t all be Jace Claytons. Some of us have to be Stu Buchanans and Wayne Marshalls and Guillaume Decouflets and Will Quinneys and Matt Shadeteks (or whatever his real name is) — or any of you other dear avatars out there.
Let’s keep the deep conversation going, yes, and/but the linkthink too —